One of the best things about going to a butchers is that, even if you have no idea of what you want to cook, you’re still guaranteed to walk out with something precious for dinner. And yesterday a trip to Beeches of Walkley resulted in me purchasing a small joint of boned and rolled leg of pork. At the time I had no idea how I wanted to cook it – I just knew it was less than a fiver and it would be more than sufficient for our Sunday dinner.
Later that evening, rather than trawl through my cook books, I took to Twitter for recipe ideas. And it was the chef at the Rutland Arms (@RutlandArmsChef) who came through with the most interesting idea… rub it in spices and slow cook it (overnight) with tinned tomatoes. So, at about 10pm last night, after a steady day of drinking, I, armed with a couple of 140 character tweets, started cooking our Sunday dinner (and I am actually writing this blogpost for my benefit, rather than yours, as I have a feeling I may want to try this recipe again…).
I toasted a teaspoon each of black peppercorns, dried chilli flakes, cloves and green cardamom pods (I didn’t have the recommended black variety) along with a cinnamon stick in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes before grinding down to a fine powder. I then unrolled the joint of pork and rubbed the spice mix all over it before setting to one side so I could deal with the tomato side of things.
Two tins of chopped tomatoes went into the slow cooker along with a few bashed cloves of garlic (Rico suggested that I use a whole bulb but I was low on the stuff), a good slosh of red wine vinegar (I reckon it must have been around two tablespoons), a good sprinkling of salt, a little (1/4 teaspoon maybe) of sugar along with a good squeeze of tomato purée (which wasn’t in accordance with Rico’s instructions, but I tend to add the stuff to all tomato based dishes). Then in went the pork (with a good splash of water) and I switched the cooker on to ‘Auto’, which cooks at high for an hour or so, then low for the rest.
And, around 15 hours later the house smelled amazing and the tomato sauce had thickened up beautifully. Up until this point I’d had no idea how I was going to serve the dish, but seeing how thick the sauce was and how tender the meat was I decided to pull it into the sauce and serve with rice and kale (which I’d cooked in a little lemon juice).
And it was bloody gorgeous – the meat was soft and tender and the spicing was quite subtle (I had been a bit worried about the amount of chilli flakes I’d put in there). Better still, before getting stuck in with my forks to pull the meat, I’d made sure I saved half of it as I had plans of slicing it up for lunches in the week. And here it is with a rice salad of tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, coriander and chilli. I’m already looking forward to my lunch break tomorrow…
Not bad for an impromptu, less than a fiver, purchase at the butchers is it?!